Insights

Selling with Your Customers’ Voice

Selling with Your Customers’ Voice

How well do you harness your customers' voice to sell faster into target market segments?    “We sell to fundraising teams in four different markets,” says Beth Nelson, Chief Client Officer at Plus Delta Partners. “We work with research universities, small- to...

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Expanding with a Platform Value Prop

Expanding with a Platform Value Prop

Are you leaving money on the table because you are perceived as a point solution rather than as a platform with broad enterprise value?    “We want our new logo team to look for quick wins on a single-use case, but it is our platform value that is the game-changer for...

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Recruiting for a Top Sales Team

Recruiting for a Top Sales Team

What matters most in building a top sales team - recruiting or skills training?    “Our sales success comes from recruiting for the right intrinsic characteristics,” says Josh Allen, Chief Revenue Officer at Owl Labs. “Sales process, messaging and negotiation are...

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Jumpstart Growth with Verticalization

Jumpstart Growth with Verticalization

When is the right time to build vertical expertise?    “It is never too early!” says Rob Brewster, CEO at GoFormz. “Investing in verticalization helped jumpstart our growth.  It brought us closer to customers and let our sales teams speak with expertise by using the...

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Aligning Go-to-Market Teams to Grow Revenue Faster

Aligning Go-to-Market Teams to Grow Revenue Faster

Most go-to-market teams underperform their growth potential because they focus too heavily on team-level measures of success.  They say Marketing is good at identifying and engaging buyers, Sales is good at working deals, and Customer Success is good at customer care...

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Three Obstacles to a Seamless Buyer Journey

Three Obstacles to a Seamless Buyer Journey

How do you get your marketing, sales, and customer success teams to prioritize the buyer journey over their own department-level goals? Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success each have their own personality and culture. Sales is stereotypically focused on earning...

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Land and Expand Faster with a Mutual Success Plan

Land and Expand Faster with a Mutual Success Plan

A good mutual success plan shifts the buyer-seller relationship from “closing a deal” as an isolated transaction to relationship building that connects each buyer-seller conversation around the opportunity to “continually expand value."    Broad goal exploration...

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Account Expansion Starts in the Close

Account Expansion Starts in the Close

Uncommon Opinion:  your account expansion really starts in the initial closed sale. Too many go-to-market teams view closing an initial deal with a new buyer as a separate activity from expanding account value after a buyer has turned into a customer.  Sales does the...

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Growing into the White Space

Growing into the White Space

Too often, go-to-market teams focus account expansion efforts on “selling into the white space” of the product capabilities that their customer has not yet purchased.  In other words, they view the area of open opportunity in terms of their own product.   White space...

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Land with Your Endgame in Mind

Land with Your Endgame in Mind

To do prospecting right, you must build a prospecting narrative that connects landing the first deal to account expansion. “Land with your endgame in mind” is how Ro Saccone, Chief Marketing Officer at Planet, put it in a recent call I had with her. “We try to build...

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Nailing the Product Discussion

Nailing the Product Discussion

Buyers tune out and lose interest when they hear a generic product discussion that is not aligned to their goal and priorities.   On the other hand, a product presentation can delight and engage buyers when it shows we listened and understood their goals. Rachael...

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Never Product Pitch Again

Never Product Pitch Again

A product pitch is the single fastest way to alienate a buyer and kill deal momentum. Andy Raskin in a great post on The Shift In How CEOs Communicate Strategy shows how business strategy has shifted from “It’s About Us” to “It’s About You." “It’s About Us” is our...

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“What is Your Success Rate Today?”

“What is Your Success Rate Today?”

One of the biggest gaps in buyer discovery is getting a buyer to co-own and co-develop the payoff that would get them really excited about working with a new vendor.   When they identify a specific desired gain, a buyer is acknowledging value and building a vision of...

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Harnessing Buyer Outcomes to Drive Growth

Harnessing Buyer Outcomes to Drive Growth

The strongest growth trajectory comes not from marketing or sales but from customer success. Mark Roberge, HubSpot’s CRO during the company's ride from $0 to $100M, put it this way: “We started with our ideal customer outcome in mind." In a recent conversation, Mark...

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Turning Case Studies Into Success Stories

Turning Case Studies Into Success Stories

There is nothing that will grab a buyer’s attention quicker than telling them that you have been successful with a customer who is just like them.   However, for most companies, customer wins are captured in case studies that sit on a company website or live in highly...

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The Power of Peer References

The Power of Peer References

The absolute #1 question in any buyer's hierarchy of trust is this:  Has this company had success working with my peers? In a recent call with a hospital in the Northeast, I heard Randi-Sue Deckard at BESLER nail the call opening with this simple line:  “We are...

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How Good is Your Buyer Discovery?

How Good is Your Buyer Discovery?

The heart of an authentic buyer journey lies in guided buyer discovery. The reality, however, is that good buyer discovery is a broken skill. Sales conversations should be about conducting GREAT buyer discovery. Ask the right questions, in the right order and you will...

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Winning Hearts and Minds with An Authentic Buyer Journey

Winning Hearts and Minds with An Authentic Buyer Journey

CEOs and revenue leaders often ask me “What is the most important thing I can do to drive sales revenue more consistently?”  My response is always the same: train your sales team to start and end every sales conversation on buyer goals and payoffs.  If you stop...

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How do the best sales teams close sales conversations?

How do the best sales teams close sales conversations?

The most important part of any sales meeting is the last ten minutes.  Many sales meetings overload on product discussions or demos and then end abruptly with “Good meeting, thanks for your time, I will email you next week to follow-up.”  The best sales meetings, in...

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Customer Success as a Revenue Driver

Customer Success as a Revenue Driver

Customer Success, like Customer Service, sits in the post-sale phase of the buyer journey, but the two teams engage customers in very different ways.   Some companies make the mistake of blurring the lines of responsibility between Customer Service and Customer...

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Three Revenue Teams, One Revenue Organization

Three Revenue Teams, One Revenue Organization

While they are all revenue-oriented teams, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success each have their own personality and culture.  Sales is stereotypically “coin-operated,” focused on putting points on the board and earning more incentive comp.  Marketing is filled with...

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Value Pathways: Let Buyer Interests Accelerate Revenue

Value Pathways: Let Buyer Interests Accelerate Revenue

The current B2B selling environment is information rich, but buying insight poor.  Potential buyers have access to almost unlimited amounts of information about vendors and their competitors from websites, peer review sites, and social media sites.  More information,...

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Mutual Success Plans: Land and Expand Faster

Mutual Success Plans: Land and Expand Faster

In the current noisy, competitive market environment with very busy buyers, sales teams need to shift from a focus on individual sales transactions to a focus on continuously deepening and expanding value across a series of connected conversations.  The best tool to...

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Content Marketing as Revenue Enablement

Content Marketing as Revenue Enablement

Content marketing, in all its many forms, plays a critical role these days in supporting purchasing decisions. However, despite increasing volumes of content being produced for use in sales, marketing and customer success, the great majority of content is missing the...

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Anchor on Buyer-Defined Value

Anchor on Buyer-Defined Value

CEOs and revenue leaders often ask me “What is the most important thing I can do to drive sales revenue more consistently?”  My response is always the same:  “Train your sales team to start and end every sales conversation on buyer goals and payoffs.”  If you anchor...

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Trust Building as a Behavior

Trust Building as a Behavior

People in sales and business know instinctively that trust is key to selling.  LinkedIn’s annual State of Sales report reinforces this with its survey data, calling the need for building trust building skills “an enduring trend.” In the 2018 report 49% of sales...

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Selling the Success Narrative

Selling the Success Narrative

In the fall of 2019, I was on a video call with Christina Yu, Mursion's Vice President of Marketing, strategizing on how the marketing team could do more to support the company’s rapid sales growth.   In 2015 Mursion had started the market for immersive, virtual...

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The Prospecting Sleuth: Reward the Hunt

The Prospecting Sleuth: Reward the Hunt

When AdmitHub was emerging as the premiere AI-based conversational messaging platform to help colleges with new student enrollments and higher student retention rates, most of its new prospect leads were inbound from director-level or manager-level staff in admissions...

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Buyer Voice, Seller Voice: Unlocking the Value Pathway

Buyer Voice, Seller Voice: Unlocking the Value Pathway

The current selling environment is complex.  As Gartner has shown there are often 7+ buyers in the B2B sales process and vendors participate in less than 20% of the entire buying process. All of this means less opportunity for quality conversation and more potential...

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Find Your Buyer’s Value Pathways

Find Your Buyer’s Value Pathways

Sellers do not close deals, buyers close deals.  The role of the seller is to guide the buyer to a close with the right questions - questions that surface a prospects’ pain and turn them into potential value.  This sales truth was impeccably documented1 by Neil...

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Deal Stalls: Three Unforced Errors

Deal Stalls: Three Unforced Errors

The majority of sales meetings miss the mark for both the buyer and seller.   A few years back Forrester did research showing that 80% of executives do not find meetings with sales representatives valuable. Recent research from Xant (formerly InsideSales) on more than...

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Prospecting as a Trusted Advisor

Prospecting as a Trusted Advisor

Sales teams make two big mistakes in their prospecting work.  First, in their messaging they rely too heavily on product pitching, content and attention grabbers that lead to an information blur and cause prospects to check out.   Second, in their outreach approach,...

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Value-Driven Growth: It Matters More Than Ever

Value-Driven Growth: It Matters More Than Ever

Most sales and marketing teams spend too much time leading with their product and product functionality. Product pitching typically causes buyer disengagement. A few years back Forrester found that 80% of executives believe meetings with sellers are a waste of time...

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Forecast Accuracy:  It’s All About the Buyer Gets

Forecast Accuracy: It’s All About the Buyer Gets

​Deal Drift Most mid-stage deals are poorly qualified . Recent research from Xant (formerly InsideSales.com) on more than a quarter million sales deals shows that only 28% of closed deals are predicted accurately 90 days out, and the actual close amounts differ by 31%...

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Cold Calling is Dead, Long Live Cold Calling

Cold Calling is Dead, Long Live Cold Calling

Cold Calling is Dead When the Internet, then email, then social media came along to transform the way people and businesses communicate, the “death of the sales representative” was widely and broadly predicted. Even Neil Rackham, creator of SPIN Selling asserted in...

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